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Making sets of work for an Art Portfolio or an Exhibition

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
We have myriads of reasons for sharing pictures. But once one declares one's intention is towards "Art" then, we, the vistors, need to access your own world. If not, we cannot give as helpful feedback.

There's one necessity, in my opinion, for Art to exist for us. First, someone has to be attracted and then emotionally and perhaps intellectually drawn into that world. Generally it's the artist him/herself who experiences that thrill, insight, joy and reward. Whether or not we "get it" is another matter. Sometimes, the author is just thrilled to pass on an environment for performers or for us to perform within by our imagination. Still, for the most case, the artist works with a set of internal esthetic and cultural guides.

Right now, folk tend to start new threads for a new picture, even if it seems to belong to the same overarching theme of a distinguishable set of pictures.

Here, in OPF, if it so happens that one is actually working towards such a "collection" or series with a common theme or motif, then share that with us and try to assemble all those pictures in one thread. Otherwise, our remarks can be all over the place and not directed towards your goal of a coherent set. This is not necessary for everyone, as some of you will be posting pictures that are so well defined that we can always see where you are going.

However, if this is a relative new venture, at least, always give links to earlier siblings so we can find your other work in that series.

This is just my own POV. Opinions welcome!

:)

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Advice to a photographer being a photographic artist

This advice works in general for those wishing to move from "general fun photography" to having some shot at getting taken on by a gallery selling fine art. It's especially directed at those, like you, wishing to get our constructive feedback on developing such creative works. Later here, I address the important questions on our qualifications and competency. For now, how to start this journey?

What's generally needed for a new artist, to get notice, is a small but coherent set of impressive and infectious images that seem related in some motif, theme and particularly style. We need to offer, as it were, a magnetic, interesting and compelling voice. Just add to your series and prune to have a top 10 or 12. Gradually your reasons for doing so will be clearer to you; your style more self-evident. By referring to your previous images in the evolving collection, we better recognize your path. Then, and only then will comments will be most effective for your needs and not just a reflection of our own styles and idiosyncratic preferences.

So, provide links to a master thread

  • For your own related works and
  • Influences for this theme/style/motif /story/ intellectual/emotional attitudes
  • Photographs or paintings being emulated, paid homage to.

Also, avoid very different processing or filters each time, to get different looks! What's needed is a fairly stable, but evolving presentation of your vision for a set of works. Thus, folk here can get drawn in and able to recognize your photographs. If each new picture would be unique, isolated from previous offerings by different style, it's hard for us to get into your thinking and advice will be all over the place! To take an example of ongoing work by one such artistic photographer posting regularly here, the photographs of Doug Anderson are, fortunately, at least in the series "pictures as paintings" already pretty coherent.

Now to our qualifications and competency. It's my belief, (yes, merely a vain belief), that with hard work, (by both those who offer opinions here and the artist her/himself), we'll gather some very valuable reports on how the photography moved us or not. We might also learn somethings about composition, color palette, structural detail and the like which challenge the way the work was put together. There's both value and danger in this as no qualifications certify anyone one of us in being able to guide you competently. Notwithstanding this important caveat, I assert that enough reports on the impact of your work on us will be a measure and likely be helpful in you refining your work. Yes, it's obviously limited to what moves for viewers like us. We are no recognized gallery, LOL! Nevertheless, I'll wager that enough of us visit museums and buy art, so that feedback will be valid as to make this exercise worthwhile. A warning: some advice you receive here or anywhere else on the WWW:// could be actually damaging for the survival of your style, spirit in the pictures you make. So always have a set of emotional, intellectual and esthetic references of your own for your projects, by which to qualify our opinions.

Lastly, don't try to "perfect" your work to meet our own needs or you'll kill your offspring!

Asher
 

Jerome Marot

Active member
What's generally needed for a new artist, to get notice, is a small but coherent set of impressive and infectious images that seem related in some motif, theme and particularly style.
If I may voice a half serious opinion: it seems to help if the related motif involves a relative of yours with a relatively rare sexual paraphilia, preferably dying of aids (*). Or scantily clad women. Or people dying from hunger and a civil war, but in a country which nobody could point on a map. Preferably all of them together. Don't forget to print at least 2 meters wide.


(*: this for the word infectious in your post)
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Don't forget to print at least 2 meters wide.
As to 2 meter wide pictures, that's fine by me. :) Modern architecture delivers giant wall space that ask for such large works. After all, what does one put on a wall 17 foot wide and 12 feet high? Large prints are in vogue for a good reason. They work well in large spaces! I have been so impressed by the full length Ilfachrome portraits by Richard Learoyd from the U.K. They have a presence so close to real life that's worth experiencing ... even at $40,000 a pop!

Asher
 

Michael Darnton

New member
I have been working on informal portraits for quite a while, and it's come to the point where I'm starting to think of what I want to "do" with them. As it stands now, I'm thinking of printing about 50 or so of them up digitally (since I've been converting them all to digital) on 13x19 paper, horizontally, with an image area of around 11x11 off to the right side, and getting the stack attractively bound by the wide left margin into a nice coffee-table book. I'm not going to start a thread, but you can see what I've been doing at http://flickr.com/mdarnton. They've made it hard to find sets, but if you want to look at them that way, there are applicable pix in the life in the UP set, the family set, and the violin people set.

I found Allen Ginsberg's "Beat Memories" ehibition and book, the way he did it, with hand-written captions for each picture, very inspirational (search google.com images for "allen ginsberg beat memories" for examples)
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I have been working on informal portraits for quite a while, and it's come to the point where I'm starting to think of what I want to "do" with them. As it stands now, I'm thinking of printing about 50 or so of them up digitally (since I've been converting them all to digital) on 13x19 paper, horizontally, with an image area of around 11x11 off to the right side, and getting the stack attractively bound by the wide left margin into a nice coffee-table book. I'm not going to start a thread, but you can see what I've been doing at http://flickr.com/mdarnton. They've made it hard to find sets, but if you want to look at them that way, there are applicable pix in the life in the UP set, the family set, and the violin people set.

I found Allen Ginsberg's "Beat Memories" ehibition and book, the way he did it, with hand-written captions for each picture, very inspirational (search google.com images for "allen ginsberg beat memories" for examples)

Michael,

Thanks for the link to Ginsberg's photography. how are you planning to add text? will you do two sided printing or what about printing your handwritten real pen and black ink comments on vellum?

Can you show here what a few pictures with accompanying text might look like?

Asher
 

Maggie Terlecki

Active member
Michael,
I just checked out your images and found so many interesting portraits in your portfolio. I think they are great and could easily make a great set.
I also love all the photos in the shop where they make violins and cellos. I like the violin, so beautiful but admit that the sound of a cello just reverberates into my soul... there is something very primal about it's sound.
 
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